Snooker: The rocket roars back
Ronnie O'Sullivan fought back from 3-0 down yesterday to beat Neil Robertson 6-4 in a stunning second-round clash at the Masters in Wembley.
O'Sullivan looked set to be on his way out as his Australian opponent moved into a convincing lead with a minimum of fuss.
But the four-time Masters champion stormed back with two centuries and three half-century breaks to set up a quarter-final clash with Peter Ebdon.
A brilliant break of 114 arrested Robertson's progress just before the mid-session interval.
That century break stirred O'Sullivan's confidence and he got back within a frame at 3-2 as he constructed a break of 57. Robertson attempted to force the safety he needed to get back in the frame, but O'Sullivan potted a tricky yellow to dash those hopes.
The 34-year-old soon took the lead as a break of 87 levelled the scores and he then prevailed by knocking off the colours in the seventh frame to take a 4-3 advantage.
Robertson (27) appeared shell-shocked by his opponent's imperious progress but recovered his composure well in the next frame.
Some of his early potting appeared shaky, particularly a simple red that rattled the jaws of the middle pocket, but he soon settled down to clear the table with a magnificent 140 break.
But O'Sullivan would not be denied as a beautiful screw shot on the blue opened up the pack of reds to set up a clearance of 106 to move to within a frame of victory.
Victory was confirmed when the Essex player prevailed following an early safety battle in the 10th frame, posting a break of 76.